Russia’s Shipulin urges against hasty conclusions amid doping scandal

Biathletes should not make hasty conclusions amid the unfolding doping scandal, Russian biathlete Anton Shipulin said in a live broadcast of Match TV television channel on Jan. 5.

An informal meeting of biathletes was held in the German town of Oberhof on Jan. 4, which particularly discussed the doping scandal in Russia.

The meeting did not support the call by two-time Olympic champion, French biathlete Martin Fourcade to boycott the World Cup Biathlon stages as he believed that the sanctions imposed by the International Biathlon Union (IBU) on the suspects of the doping scandal were insufficient.

"Fourcade opened the meeting and at first biathletes talked much with IBU Deputy Head Nicole Resch," Shipulin said.

"Many issues were addressed to her on the McLaren [doping] report. I understand that more questions than answers remain for most biathletes, like for us. After the talk with Resch, I took the floor and tried to call on the biathletes not to make hasty conclusions and wait for final decisions," Shipulin said.

According to the Part Two report delivered on Dec. 9 in London by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in the manipulations system to conceal positive doping tests.

McLaren’s Part Two report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics had been falsified as well.

The IBU announced on Dec. 15 that it had obtained a list of 31 athletes, whom the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its Independent Commission led by Canadian sports law professor McLaren suspect of doping violations.

The IBU opened formal investigations against the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) and 29 athletes mentioned in the report and decided to bar Russian female biathletes Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina from international competitions.

Also, the Russian Biathlon Union decided against holding the Biathlon World Cup stage in Tyumen and the Junior Championship in Ostrov.

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